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We were blessed with another great sail from the Gocek area toward Marmaris in 15-20+ wind. Lots of big rollers as the day progressed. We have had outstanding weather in September in the Med.
It was a long sail as there really aren’t any places to anchor between Gocek and Ekincik(which is near Marmaris). We sailed for around 7-8 hours and covered around 40 nautical miles.
We arrived in time to get our anchor set and line ashore before sunset. The rollers into the bay were quite significant but we managed to tuck into a small cove with calm waters and only a few Gulets as our neighbors. A quick line ashore and we were set for the evening.
We had read about an interesting restaurant in Ekincik bay with great views and went over in the dinghy for dinner.
My Marina is a small marina in the bay with about 20-30 spots for cruisers and a pretty restaurant up the hill. The walk up was quite interesting to navigate as it is a fairly steep hill covered in stone that is easy to trip on and a bit slippery in places!
When we successfully arrived at the top, we found the very quaint restaurant and its servers all dressed like sailors which was a nice touch.
One of our favourite things about the food in Turkey is the Mezes. These are appetizers. In Turkey, they are brought to your table ready to eat and you choose which ones you would like. Alternatively, they are displayed in a glass case inside the restaurant for you to peruse and make your selections. Many of them involve fresh tomatoes, eggplant (aubergine), and hot dishes including calamari and grilled octopus which tastes very good!
We had a lovely dinner and the sunset and views were worth the trip and the climb!
The following morning we sailed to Marmaris which was very beautiful and not too far.
We arrived in Marmaris around 3 pm and anchored right in the harbour just off the beach and very busy vacation destination of Marmaris.
Marmaris is a very busy place, jam-packed with hotels, beaches, and tourists. Despite the development, Marmaris and the bay of Marmaris are very beautiful.
We anchored the boat and headed into shore to see some sights and investigate renting a motorcycle or scooter to see more of the area.
We ‘parked’ the dinghy at the Marmaris marina in a safe spot and walked along the waterfront which is a beautiful stone walk way with numerous sculptures and fountains. We were surprised at how pretty it was. We walked past all the restaurants and decided to take a taxi to the nearest scooter rental spot.
We were in the process of choosing a scooter and noticed one of the fellows was very muscular. Turns out he is a champion body builder and has won ‘Mr. Turkey’. We just never know who we will meet in our travels!
The day was getting later so we didn’t venture too far. We did drive around Marmaris and over to the next bay, Icmeler which is full of beaches, hotels, shops, restaurants, and more tourists. Despite all the development, it is still very pretty and we noted that the majority of tourists were from England. Turkey is a very nice place to take a beach holiday. The hotels and food are very affordable and the beaches, scenery, and weather are outstanding.
The following morning, we headed back to shore with a big bag of laundry and the hopes of touring around the peninsula.
As luck would have it, just as we tied up the dinghy, Rob spotted a fellow on a scooter with a laundry sign. We arranged for him to do the laundry and drop it into the dinghy while we enjoyed our day. Awesome service!
We began our tour climbing out of town and into the hills and mountains. Our ‘circle’ route was recommended by the fellow who rented us the scooter and he also pointed out the best spots to stop for views and to enjoy a great lunch.
Below is a map showing the Bozburun Penninsula so you can see the area we toured.
We started by driving out of Marmaris toward Hisaronu and followed the coast toward Orthaniye, Selimiye, Bozburun, Sogut, Bayir, and back through Icmeler to Marmaris. We were sure to have a full day!
As we drove through the mountains and hills, we spotted many adventure Jeeps taking tourists on ‘off road’ tours which was interesting.
Our first stop was a place called Orthaniye. It is quite famous for its red sand bar. You can walk quite far out onto it and even make it look like you walk on water. The legend is below:
Orthaniye is very popular for cruisers and we weren’t sure we would have time to get here with The Lodge so it was great to see it.
The coast road was very pretty. It wound its way around many bays and we got a great feel for the area.
Our next stop was Selimiye, a very beautiful bay and one visited by many cruising boats.
We were recommended to have lunch here as there is a really amazing fish restaurant. With the help of some local people, we were able to find Sardunya Restoran, a fish and seafood specialty restaurant right on the water in Selimiye.
After lunch, we took some time to stroll around and see this quiet, lovely place.
As we left Selimiye, we climbed another hill and got some great pictures of the harbour.
The next town on the great circle tour was Bozburun itself, which the peninsula is named after. It is very small with only one main street, a small marina, and several harbour restaurants catering to ‘yachties’ like ourselves.
There were many great anchorages and we saw plenty of sailboats in Bozburun.
A quick look at Bozburun and we were off on the scooter towards Sogut. We saw some really cool stuff along the way.
We found a bay where they were building brand new Gulets.
And some farmers too…
As the road took us away from the sea, we had to ride through the mountains to get back to the Marmaris coast. It was very high and took a good hour to get through but was very scenic.
When we were about 2/3 of the way through the mountains, we passed through a mountain town called Bayir. The descent into it was steep and when we got there we kept seeing small tables and displays at the side of the road selling honey. We also saw hundreds of blue coloured bee boxes tucked into the pine trees.
As it turns out, this area is a major producer of pine honey. Yes, pine honey. It is pure because there are no flowers or other kinds of trees other than the mountain pines for the bees to pollenate.
We stopped at the Honey House, a museum of the tradition of bee-keeping in this area in a small town called Osmaniye.
We tasted the pine honey which isn’t quite as sweet as flower honey but very unique and delicious. We also got to taste a teaspoonful of bee pollen. It tastes like flowers. Of course, I learned later that some people have extreme allergic reactions to it and we should have only tried a grain or two….
The ride around the peninsula was really amazing and it was incredible how much we were able to see in one day. We started at around noon and arrived back in Marmaris around 7:30pm at night. What a tour! (Yes, our butts were a little numb)
We had no choice but to finish the day with cold beer and a great meal on the waterfront in Marmaris. We had some fresh grouper which was excellent and we enjoyed as we don’t eat fish too often due to its high price in the Med. ($120 per kg in restaurants)
This was a really memorable place and we will have great memories of Marmaris and the Bozburun Peninsula.